Apes prove it: You don't have to be human to understand what someone else is thinking
Los Angeles Times
Format: Magazine Article
Publication Date: 2016/10/06/
Sources ID: 39661
Collection: Theory of Mind
Visibility: Public (group default)
Leave it to a guy in a King Kong suit to demonstrate that humans' thinking abilities aren't quite as special as we'd like to think.Of all the creatures in the animal kingdom, only humans were given credit for being able to ascertain the unstated thoughts, beliefs and desires of others. (Of course, said credit was doled out by humans.) This is a skill of great evolutionary importance — in complex societies, it's easier to get ahead if you can correctly anticipate the behavior of others. A notable version of this skill is the ability to recognize when someone else believes something that's false. If you can do this, it shows you actually understand what's in someone else's head, not merely how someone ought to react in a certain situation.